Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Teen Read Week!

I'm really excited to celebrate teen read week this week because my teen readers are the best! I did a vlog on Friday night (see the exciting life of the author, home doing vlogs on Friday nights, woo!) to thank my teen readers and talk about some of the YA books I really dig. I talked a bit about the theme "Read Beyond Reality," which immediately conjures up Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism reading ideas for me, but I also think reading contemporary fiction (like Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, and my books) helps us expand our horizons and "read beyond reality."

I make it my goal to write about characters whose worlds are "real," but everyone may not relate or understand them. I'm especially thinking of the characters in my book Ballads of Suburbia. Many of the reviewers have said, "I'm not at all like Kara or the kids in this book, but...." and then they go on to talk about the empathy they gained for kids like my characters or what they learned. And to me, that is one of the most important things about reading. It makes you think and then hopefully it makes you talk and examine how you relate to others. I feel like YA books open minds and open dialogue better than any other books in some ways, hence THE CELEBRATION!!!!

So Happy Teen Read Week. Excuse my babbling, excuse the lisp my camera gives me, and enjoy the video. Oh and there is a contest of course.... details below.

If you want to be really amused, check out this outtake of my attempt to do the vlog with my cat Lars present. He gets up to some antics and actually ends up shutting off the lights. At that point my hubby Scott (my wonderful cameraman) and I both totally lose it and decide to do another take.

Okay, the contest I speak of... In honor of Teen Read Week and my teen readers, I'm giving out one signed copy of Ballads of Suburbia. To enter just leave comment about a YA book that expanded your reality as well as an email address here and I will choose the winner on Monday. As always I'm offering additional chances to win, so here they are, include your additional entries in your comment.

+1 for blogging/tweeting about Teen Read Week
+1 for blogging/tweeting about this vlog and contest
+5 for posting my vlog on your blog

And since I'm in a celebratory mood, I'm going to extend my contest to spread the word and save Danielle Joseph's book Shrinking Violet until next Monday as well. So that's another chance to win a signed copy of Ballads of Suburbia! Get the details on how to enter here!

Both Danielle and I as well as ton of other wonderful YA authors had our books nominated for the Cybils. So check that list out and thank you to the nominators!!!

Last, but certainly not least, the Readergirlz are really celebrating Teen Read Week including doing a big tribute on Friday October 23, so be sure to check that out at!


pepsivanilla said...

A book that really expanded my reality was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I mean, it was required reading in 7th grade, and maybe I was just naive then, but I had NO idea about anything like that.


Sara said...

There have been so many books that have expanded my reality. Francesca Lia Block's books jump to mind because you mentioned them (Yay!), but I'll mention something different.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta was an absolutely amazing read... not only was it set in a country and culture separate from my own, the main characters lived in much different conditions than I do and have drastically different family lives. Love that book!

+1 briefly talked about Teen Read Week on blog
+1 tweeted contest/vlog (@thehidingspot)
+5 posted vlog on blog

Blog address:

Thanks for the contest and vlog (and outtake... how did Lars turn off the light!?),

Jessica Secret said...

Hm....I'd have to say as far as contemporary, it's be 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I didn't love it, but it did expand my mind about teenagers, since I don't go to school. As for urban-fantasy-ish, I'd have to say City of Bones. I love that book and it completely opened up my mind to demons and other supernatural creatures.

Tweeted it here:

By the way, I love most of the music choices for your sidebar- especially Rise Against, my very favorite! But I don't see any The Ramones....

shutupjessicasreading at gmaildotcom

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Pepsivanilla, I wish Speak was around to be required reading when I was in jr high, would have helped me a lot in later yrs I think.

Sara, I need to check out Jellicoe Road. And Lars turned the light out because he jumps up to try to pull pushpins out of the wall (he likes to play with them, which is just a bad) and in doing this he hit the light switch!

Jessica, I have to read both of those. As for The Ramones, I listen to them but apparently not enough to show up in my quilt because that is somehow built from what I play on my iPod/iTunes. Rise Against is so awesome though.

Melanie said...

I'd have to say that Speak was the book that has had the largest impact on me. I'd never read anything similiar to it before, and it really got me thinking.

Michael said...

We have two of the same posters! i have the same Misfits and American History X posters in my room. i also have a johnny cash one, but its a different picture

Liviania said...

Wow, I've read all of those books. I can't remember if SPEAK or DANGEROUS ANGELS was first. I picked up DA for the lovely cover, and a jr high teacher lent me SPEAK. (We were coming home from a field trip and I ran out of books. Like a good English teacher, Mrs. Suchocki was prepared.)

I think this is a hard question! I'll have to say SANDRY'S BOOK by Tamora Pierce. At that point, I'd already been reading all sorts of books with badass girls in the lead. But it's the world that came with it. I kept reading Pierce's novels, and was there when she founded That board opened me up to a whole line of feminist thinking I'd never thought needed considering before.

To me, it's all roundabout things like that. Some books raise questions in my minds. Others have sparks that keep me coming back and searching for more and finding something that fits.

jpetroroy said...

I honestly think it was To Kill a Mockingbird, back in high school. From Boo to Atticus, that book is amazing.

jpetroroy at gmail dot com